April 2, 2016

WINNING THE WAR ON OIL:

How Elon Musk's hyperloop dream is moving from sci-fi fantasy to reality (Alexis Boncy, April 1, 2016, The Week)

When inventor-entrepreneur Elon Musk hatched his idea for a new type of high-speed travel in which passenger pods hurtle through tubes at the speed of sound, it sounded straight out of the pages of science fiction.

But a little more than three years later, there's nothing fictional about it. Two companies are in a fierce race to develop the technology for what Musk, the CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX, termed the "fifth mode" of transportation: the hyperloop. And one of them, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, recently reached an agreement with Slovakia to explore building the first hyperloop system there; one possible route could connect the capital, Bratislava, with Vienna and Budapest.

Musk also has kept an encouraging hand in the development process. He's hosting a global competition through SpaceX to design a prototype passenger pod. "I'm starting to think this is really going to happen... It's clear the public and the world wants something new," Musk said at the competition's design weekend at Texas A&M University in January.

A frequent traveler between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Musk's futuristic transit vision was inspired after a particularly frustrating experience with L.A. traffic. 

Posted by at April 2, 2016 7:39 AM

  

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